However, thanks to some questions and answers by Sir Ian McKellen on his blog, we can pretty much guarantee he'll be returning as Gandalf.Â McKellen has previously expressed interest in the part, but now it nice to hear the powers that be agree!
Q: Have you been approached yet by Peter Jackson or anyone else aboutÂ reprising your wonderful role as Gandalf for the two upcomingÂ "Hobbit" movies. I read that principal photography begins in 2009,Â and I can't imagine those movies without you!
A: Encouragingly, Peter and Fran Walsh have told me they couldn't imagine The Hobbit without their original Gandalf.Â Their confidence hasn't yet been confirmed by the director Guillermo del Toro but I am keeping my diary free for 2009!
Q: So has it come to pass, good Sir McKellen? ShallÂ the dreaming masses with their musty books andÂ their blackened pipes at long last hear thoseÂ immortal words issue from under that famous nose?Â "Yes, yes, my dear sir-and I know your name, Mr.Â Bilbo Baggins. And you do know my name, thoughÂ you don't remember that I belong to it. I amÂ Gandalf, and Gandalf means me! To think I shouldÂ have lived to be good-morninged by BelladonnaÂ Took's son, as if I was selling buttons at the door!"Â Looking about, I find I share the same hopes asÂ millions of others, so I ask, a single query in aÂ chorus... Will you again be our Gandalf in "TheÂ Hobbit" now that the deal is settled?
A: Yes I will, if Peter Jackson and I have anything to do with it, he being the producer and me being, on the whole, a very lucky actor.Â I've just read your quote out loud - fabulous speech.
You can read the rest of McKellen's Lord of the Rings Posts at his E-Post.